A couple weekends ago I attended new student orientation at the Charlotte campus of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. While making the drive to Charlotte I was unsure what to expect. I entered the double doors and began to politely greet everyone. I was friendly as usual, but not at all my best self. Those were the worst two days of my sinus infection and I really wanted to be in bed. Yet, I was excited about crossing this new threshold and the possibilities of what God was about to do.
I was excited to see such a diverse group of people, and a surplus of young women preparing to seek the Lord through intellectual studies. The most common question was, “What do you plan to do with your degree?” One young married lady responded, “Well, I actually plan to be a stay-at-home mom.” I was so excited! How wonderful for a young woman, who God has not yet blessed with children, to first acknowledge the best thing she can do as a mom is to cultivate her relationship with the Lord. There were so many amazing stories from people who God has challenged and has now called to leadership and a higher responsible of preaching, teaching, and sharing His word.
On the other hand, there was anxiety. Regular people entered with the daily struggles of work, ministry, family, friendships, heartbreak, and financial struggles just to name a few realities of life. Some students arrived expecting to and ready for competition with others. Some were very thankful and humbled. Others wore pride on their shoulders. God will in some way, in spite of themselves and their brokenness, use all of them.
Perhaps the most comforting part of the weekend was the gentle reminders received from God during the quiet times of prayer (and thankfully there was a lot of appointed time for it). But the gentle reminder from the Academic Dean is what continues to ring in my ears…”This is a safe place.” At that point I was reminded of God’s promise to me as presented in His word (the Bible):
One thing I ask of the Lord, this is what I seek:
That I may dwell in the house of the Lord
All the days of my life,
To gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple.
For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling…”
Psalm 27: 4-5A
During this time of seeking him, I continuously look forward to the blessed hope of Heaven where I will remain with him throughout eternity. He will watch over me, keep me, guard my heart, and preserve my soul until that day. I have safety and assurance in him.
Who will separate me from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus? There is only one word in response.